Stephenson's Rocket - the 1st steam locomotive
George Stephenson's "Rocket", which was one of the first travelling steam locomotives invented. Stephenson was an English inventor who was born in 1781 and died in 1848. He was not the first in this field, but his devices caught on and he soon became known as the father of the steam locomotive. By 1825, one of Stephenson's locomotives pulled passenger cars along rails, thereby becoming the first passenger railway.
© SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
First US manned space flight, 1961
First US manned space flight, 1961. Redstone rocket launching the Freedom 7 capsule into space on 5th May 1961. This mission (Mercury-Redstone 3) launched Alan Shepherd into space as part of the Mercury program, making him the first US astronaut to travel into space, and the second person worldwide after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin - who had made his flight in April of that year. Shepherd's flight lasted less than 16 minutes, reaching a height of 187 kilometres. Unlike Gagarin, Shepherd did not orbit the Earth. Photographed on 5th May 1961, at Launch Complex 5 (LC-5), Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.
© NASA/VRS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Overall view and cut-away of the Ariane 5 launcher
Ariane 5. Artwork showing an overall view (left) and cut-away view (right) of the European Ariane 5 launcher. Ariane 5 consists of a large first stage (lower 2/3rds of the central vehicle) flanked by two solid rocket boosters, with a smaller second stage (top 1/3rd). Most of the first stage is taken up by the vast liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, which feed the single Vulcain motor at bottom. The second stage is powered by a DASA engine powered by storable propellants (dinitrogen tetroxide and monomethyl hydrazine). The payload depicted here is the Cluster mission with its four identical spacecraft. The first Ariane 5 mission, carrying Cluster, is due for launch in mid-1996.
© DAVID DUCROS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY